WINERY TEAM Sage Hills Estate Winery is a family business which was started in 2006. From left are winemaker and viticulturalist Keenan Thrussell, Rick Thrussell, Toby Thrussell and sales and marketing director Tyler Thrussell. Rick Thrussell also serves as president of Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive, an association of wineries, cideries breweries and distilleries. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Wine industry has grown in Summerland

Bottleneck Drive represents 18 wineries, three cideries, one brewery and one distillery

When Rick Thrussell began Sage Hills Estate Winery in 2006, Summerland had a small but growing wine industry.

“We wanted to grow grapes that were designed to grow on the site that we had,” he said.

He and his wife looked at properties in Washington, Oregon and Vancouver Island before choosing to start a winery in Summerland.

When he began the winery, his property on Matsu Drive was the only winery in that part of Summerland. Today, from his tasting room windows, he can see five others nearby. “These didn’t exist when I came here,” he said.

READ ALSO: Bottleneck Drive tasting rooms to open in April

READ ALSO: Grand Sommelier Express returns for third year

The wine industry in the community has grown, and today Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive represents 18 wineries, three cideries, one brewery and one distillery, with more to come.

Thrussell is the president of Bottleneck Drive and is working to promote the wineries and the community.

“Bottleneck Drive is about driving tourism to the town,” he said. “There’s so much the community has to offer.”

He added that the growth of the wine industry has changed the way Summerland has promoted itself.

In the past, he said the Summerland Chamber of Commerce used the lake and the beaches as the focus of its tourism efforts, but Thrussell said the focus has needed to expand beyond the lake. Everybody’s on the lake and everybody’s got beaches,” he said of the communities in the Okanagan Valley. “We’ve got to start marketing what’s different about Summerland, not what’s the same as everywhere else.”

Thrussell expects the wine industry in Summerland and in the Okanagan will continue to grow, with wineries emphasizing the quality of the wines.

“The valley as a whole is going to continue to make its name based on the quality of the wines we produce,” he said. “Our focus has to be on quality.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Liam’s Lowdown: Revy, drive safe

And clear the snow off your car

Rain for Revelstoke

Highway 1 closure until 2 p.m.

Nearly 12,000 children living in poverty throughout Okanagan: report

BC Child Poverty Report Card includes stats for Central and North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen

Trans-Canada to close at 11 a.m. for avalanche work

The highway will be closed until 2 p.m.

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Ronald McDonald House to open Family Room at Kamloops hospital

Facility to provide home-like retreat for parents, family members of pediatric patients

Break in artist refuses to be framed

No one is being framed in this break in. According to Princeton… Continue reading

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read